Sunday, October 4, 2015

September Favorites

It seems that I have a spotty record with writing favorites posts, and I am only slightly shamed to say that it is because I have just been reaching for the same products over this past month.  Starting a new job really means using products that are tried and true, although that didn't totally mean I was only using some older products.  I definitely tried out a few new products that will be seeing some serious love in the upcoming months.

I bought the MAC Warm Neutrals Palette from Nordstrom a few months back and have been using it pretty regularly.  Although it was a pretty pricy palette at $85, it's still a steal for a fully formed MAC palette, which was usually retail for over $160.  I'm planning on doing a full post later on featuring some looks with this palette, but all of the shades are perfectly suited for the type of looks that I like to do.

Although I bought this last year, I haven't used the YSL Babydoll Kiss and Blush in 10 Nude Insolent until these past couple months. It is one of many MLBB lip shades that I have been slapping on when I'm rushing in the morning, but this is particularly useful because I use it as a neutral cream blush, as well.

An impulse buy gone right is the Clinique Sculptionary Contour Blush in Nude.  I will be dedicating a full post to this blush, but just a little preview - this blush is the bomb.  It's the perfect nude glow that isn't too shimmery, and it actually creates a soft contoured look that I've been really loving.

I have officially stepped on the Chanel bandwagon after completely falling in love with the fall collection.  Chanel Alezane was just too pretty for me to pass up, and I knew that it was just the right type of shade that I would use all the the time, justifying the $45 price tag.  

Continuing on the theme of blushes and exciting cheek products, I have been reaching for this Cargo Beach Blush in Miami not so much as a cheek product, but actually as a delicate golden-pink highlight over my blushes.  It has a harder pigment so it ends up being a delicate highlight rather than an all on shimmer, but beautiful, nonetheless!

For lipsticks, I've generally been going back to my standby MLBB shades like Maybelline Touch of Spice, Revlon Honey, etc, but I've also been reaching for this Rival de Loop lipstick a lot.  When I bought it, I wasn't expecting too much out of it, but I've been really enjoying it.  I'm pretty sure it's only sold at one branch of drugstores in Germany (DM), and it was probably less than 2 euros, but the formula and lasting power has been really great.  It's also the perfect subtle red that I'm comfortable wearing to work.

Well, I'm keeping it short and sweet for September, but fear not, because I think I'm officially out of my makeup rut!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 2015 Empties

Hello all! Today I have some empties to show you that have just been piling up in my bathroom.  Now you all know the drill by now, but empties are always my favorite posts because I definitely have a good opinion of the products after I have finished them up.  Plus, there’s always the satisfaction of seeing my stash empty by about .05% before I replace it with about 5 more products….now that’s something I need to work on.
Without blabbering on too much, here’s what I have finished recently:

Read on to see more!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beat the Heat Makeup

While the August usually signals the beginning of the end of summertime, I can assure you that the heat is still going strong here in DC.  I've compiled a few things that have helped keep my makeup on throughout the day  and they have quickly become some staple products.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Now Online in the US!

ALERT ALERT: Kiko Cosmetics is available in the United States. And now just in a couple stores on the East Coast, but they are now available ONLINE!  Bonus, a lot of their products are on sale, especially their limited edition collections!

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know that Kiko has been one of my favorite European cosmetics brands for a few years now, mainly because of their low-mid range prices and excellent quality.  Something about the simple black packaging also really appeals to me, much in the same way that MAC’s or Nars’s packaging appeals to me. Every time I go back to Europe, I basically go crazy trying to stock up on all of my favorite products.  It makes me immensely happy to know that I don’t have to overstuff my suitcase anymore, and that I can buy their products online now.

Since a lot of US readers may not have tried a lot of the Kiko products, I thought I would take the chance to highlight some of my favorite products from the brand.

Keep Reading to find out more details about my top picks from the brand!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Some Current Favorites

I think it’s time for a favorites post.  I’ve acquired a few things that I have really been loving, and bonus – they’re also products that have been working well for me for the summer heat. Interesting, though, I actually didn’t have a real lip product favorite, although that may because I actually have been switching things up a little and not wearing the same 3 products every day.  I think later in the summer I’ll have to devote an entire post to my favorite lip combos of the summer because there are actually quite a few of them!

First, let’s talk about the Becca Ombre Nudes Palette.  Like the rest of the beauty community, I completely fell for matte shadows this year.  I just can’t get enough of them, and this palette is probably everything I could ever want in a basic all matte palette.  It has everything from a lid, transition, to crease shade, AND the shades are cool enough for me to use as contour or brow powders.  This texture of this palette is also out of this world smooth and pigmented.  They’re not too powdery or hard, but are smooth and easy to blend out.  I already have my eye on the new version of this palette coming out in the fall, which has slightly warmer shades. Anyone else?

Another palette I’ve been loving is my custom made Inglot trio, especially the matte contour shade and  the shimmery shade in the middle.  I walked into the Inglot store a couple months ago and asked for 3 things: a transition/blending shade, a shimmery lid shade, and a cool brown that could double as a brow powder (are you seeing a trend in the type of things I’ve been buying lately?), and the lady in the store was so great at picking out the perfect shades for me.

After finishing my beloved Physician Formula Eye Booster Liquid Eyeliner, I set out to find another replacement just to see if anything else can compare, and I stumbled upon the Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.  It has a felt tip instead of a brush tip, but it still offers plenty of control and I am still able to get a fine line with my eyeliner.  It holds up great in the summer heat, and I’ve noticed that it is indeed, waterproof.  I think I may prefer the ultra-fine line I get with the Physician’s Formula liner, but this is still a great alternative!

Next, I finally got around to trying the Kat Von D Autograph Liner, which I believe has been discontinued.  I bought this last year, actually, but I think you could easily find a similar shade in the Urban Decay 24/7 liners.  It’s a tan/taupe shade with some micro shimmer that I use on my lower lashline to define my eyes instead of using a black or dark brown liner.  It adds just a hint of definition without making my eye makeup look too heavy.

For blush, I’ve been having a major love affair with coral and golden-tan shades…so typical of me for the summer.  The blushes I’ve been reaching for in particular are the NYX Mosaic Blush in Coral and the Kiko Soft Touch Blush in #100.  The NYX blush is the perfect balance of coral-tan, and it is SO pigmented, while the Kiko blush has become a staple in my stash for being a glowy tan-peach shade that complements a bright lip perfectly.

Although this is old news by now, I’ve been re-loving my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette, and I’ve been particularly loving Radiant Light as a subtle highlighter over my blush.  With the humidity, my face is looking shiny enough as it is, so I’ve been staying away from my more shimmery highlighters, but Radiant Light has been a great subtle alternative to all my more obvious highlighters.

As for base products, the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector has been an absolute life-saver for keeping my makeup matte. I kid you not, this is the first primer that has actually been effective at keeping my makeup intact and somewhat matte throughout the day.  This product has quite a learning curve to it (take a TINY amount, rub between your fingers, and PAT, not rub, onto your face), but once I mastered it, my makeup started lasting much longer.

And finally, my all-star product of the past few months has been the It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Corrector.  I bought it as a less pricy alternative to my Bobbi Brown Corrector, and I love the thinner formula of this product, making it slightly easier to blend on my face.  It has worked perfectly, until now, when I’m at probably the tannest point of the year.  The medium shade works best when I’m a true NC35, but the thinner consistency is much easier to work with than the BB Corrector sometimes!

Well, there you go. A very delayed favorites post and warm-up into blogging again.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hello, friends

Well, hello there. It’s been awhile, and I am alive and well.

Things have been a little crazy lately, and by lately, I really mean for the past seven months.

I was so busy that it wasn’t just blogging that fell under the radar.  It was everything related to blogging – cooking, and researching/blogging makeup, although part of that not buying was also due to my no-buy.  The only thing I managed to keep up with...barely…is my fitness and maintaining a relatively healthy diet.

But the good thing is, now my schedule is finally calming down for a few weeks at least (hopefully longer), so I can do some fun things again, like breaking my no-buy and actually cooking again.  I think for the past seven months, everything that I have cooked has been as unoriginal as possible, with me just throwing together the recipes that I knew worked and could take with me on the go.

I’ve tried keeping my Instagram somewhat updated, although I can see a few weeks where I went completely off the radar.  Honestly I just kind of forget to update my life, which annoys me more because I like recording the positive moments, my happiest moments, and I forget to do that sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m more about enjoying the moment than being constantly attached to my phone and camera, but there have been so many times when I go back through old pictures and fondly remember the smallest details of an event, or a trip, that I had completely forgotten about.  However, now that I have a little more time on my hands, I can hopefully change that around.

So here’s to a new start, even though it’s a few months late.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Goals for 2015 - better late than never

Well, two weeks into 2015 and I finally have some goals set for myself.  Unlike last year, I wasn't actually sure what I wanted for myself. I have some big obvious goals, like...get a job, but as for the little things, I only have a few things I want to focus on this year.

But first, let's look at how far I've come in accomplishing my goals from 2014...

1. I definitely improved my fitness. I worked hard on deadlifts, planks, and my running with some pretty significant progress on all of them.

2. I didn't run a race this year - none of them worked with my schedule this year, but I think I could actually manage a half marathon this year.

3. I ate clean for the majority of the year, but fell hard near the end of the year when I got really stressed.

4. Traveling to Europe - my biggest accomplishment of the year.  I enjoyed 5 weeks of traveling and adventure, and it was an amazing time of my life.

5.  In terms of taking risks, I think I was pretty fair. I applied and tried to take risks on things I wouldn't have done before.  I was successful in some cases, and not so much in other terms, but the important part is that I actually took risks. 

I'm happy with what I've managed to accomplished in 2014.  I did start and finish many things that I'm proud of, but let's at what I want to do in 2015, shall we?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hazelnut cookies with Cinnamon Sugar (GF possible)

So the holidays have come and passed. Or for me, the season of baking and cooking non-stop has come and passed.  There's nothing like some free time and a huge kitchen at my parent's house to get me in the mood to bake.

While last Christmas seemed to be all about peanut butter cookies, this past Christmas was all about shortbread and hazelnut cookies.  I really got into the art of the slice and bake with  some real tests of patience in waiting for dough to freeze and thaw out again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette FOTD

 I told myself I didn't need the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette ($42), but alas, I found myself picking this up in ULTA...and not putting it back down again.  The warm neutrals in both warm and cool shades paired with the silky smooth texture had me in love at first swatch.

First, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. 

And it gets better when you open it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Chloe - the perfume of my dreams

It's funny and also wonderful how certain scents are such strongly associated with memories.  For this reason (among many others), that Chloe is my favorite perfume.  I received it as a birthday present from a friend a few years ago, and brought it with me when I went to Germany for the first time to study. That's four straight months of using this perfume everyday, and four months of fantastic memories. Everytime I wear this scent now, all of those memories come flooding back to me.  Memories of cold, icy mornings walking to the U-bahn stop in the mornings, minutes after rolling the scent on my wrists.  Memories of late nights out at bars with friends, adventures wandering around Berlin....this along with Chloe being one of my most lusted-after scents before I had this perfume.  

So when I saw this trio on sale at Sephora, I knew I had to get a replacement for my now almost empty rollerball.

While this particular set is not available anymore, I snagged it awhile back when it was on sale for $30, an absolutely steal for three rollerballs including one of my favorites of all time - Chloe Eau de Parfum, which is $25 on its own.  It also includes two other signature Chloe scents - L'eau de Chloe and Love Chloe.

They are both beautiful scents, with L'eau de Chloe being slightly more green and woodsy, while Love Chloe is slightly sweeter and more floral scent.  I'm so excited to wear both of these new scents in addition to a fresh new rollerball of Chloe.

I don't talk about perfumes much on here because I tend to stick to my favorites, but it's about time that I talked about my favorite perfume of all time!  While I'm not the type of person to have a certain signature scent, I do tend to have a few go-to scents, all of which are slightly florally with a musky amber or vanilla or jasmine base.  Chloe fits in perfectly, being sweet and florally, but also fresh.  It's unlike any other scent I've ever smelled